Nursing Home/Long Term Care/Home Care/assisted living

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Don't know if you can answer this, but you may have some thoughts. It's a question about funding for assisted living facilities. My 90 yr old mother is currently in rehab, and may need to go to an assisted living place. The one that is recommended costs almost $4000-5000 a month. It is one of the few nice places, that when someone's money runs out, they can stay there on medicaid. She has worked hard all her life and always planned on leaving me and my sister whatever money she has when she dies, about $100,000. We were depending on that inheritance a lot, to help us through our old age (we are in our 60's). But we told our mother that the money she intended to leave us may have to go to her assisted living costs instead, which she doesn't want to do at all. But
someone suggested this idea to us- before entering assisted living, she could give/transfer the money to us now, instead of it all going to the assisted living place. And even though she wouldn't have that money anymore, she could still stay there on medicaid and her money would go to her children, like she wants it to. We are not trying to be greedy, and if that money needs to go to assisted living instead, then so be it. But by giving it to her children now instead, which she always intended, it would help us  tremendously and make her happy. That being said, we don't want to be unethical about it and certainly don't want to do anything illegal or commit fraud, but don't know if this would be considered that. Thanks, any feedback is appreciated.

Answer
Lee,
Good evening.  I am sorry to hear that your Mom is in the situation where she may have to go to Assisted Living.  I understand your concern about your Mom's savings.  The issue you are describing is one that many families have been faced with.
First I would say that you may want to consult an attorney that is well versed in estate planning and setting up trusts.  
Aside from that, the situation is pretty clear here.  Medicaid is set up to help people in poverty.  There is only enough money budgeted for people really living in poverty to get the services they need. Even so, there are still tremendous short-falls.   If people hide money to take advantage of the system, then the  program will definately fail.  Medicaid has become wise to people trying to do what someone suggested to you that your family do.  Medicaid has a 5 year look back period.  So they can request all bank records, etc for the past 5 years for your Mom for her full financial picture for that time.  Not disclosing the savings she has or had during this period would be fraud.
You may want to consider if your Mom can go home with Caregivers, or to stay with you or your sister, while you seek the advice of an attorney how could set up a trust or a way to preserve as much money as possible.  
My best to you as you work through your options here.  

Nursing Home/Long Term Care/Home Care

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Ginelle LeBlanc, CSA

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding home care solutions for seniors, in home care scheduling and care giver solutions, funding sources for home care, how to find a quality Care Giver, what questions to ask when interviewing a caregiver for home care, how to solve home care problems. All things related to caring for a senior at home, and the caregivers taking care of a senior. Additionally for those who own a home care business, I can help answer questions regarding the start up and operations of a home care business for seniors.

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I am a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) accreditied to help seniors and thier families to find the best solutions for their needs. I owned and operated a Home Care service for Seniors for 6 years and was able to help nearly 1,000 families find the best caregiver match for their parents, or senior loved one. I have supervised a staff of caregivers providing care in private homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals and nursing homes. I continued in the Senior Care/Home Care Industry as Regional Director of Training for Comfort Keepers providing training and operational support to 10 offices in the Gulf South Region. I now have 12 years in this field. I now own and operate my own Senior Care Consulting business, GL Consulting, LLC (www.GLconsultingLLC.com)

Education/Credentials
Graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana. I am a CSA (Certified Senior Advisor).

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